Build Wellness Meal Bowls That Stretch Your Budget
Wellness bowls are a quick way to build a nutrient dense and delicious meal in a bowl. If you plan leftover ingredients, building wellness bowls are easy and budget friendly. So save any leftover shredded greens, grilled vegetables, cooked grains and sauces and you’ll have what it takes to build a wellness bowl. Think of wellness bowls as composed meals in a bowl, made in the same fashion you would build a salad at a salad bar. It’s totally up to you how many options you put out to choose from. Consider ingredients based on a theme or flavor profile. Before shopping, take into consideration the seasonality and availability of ingredients, and of course, pick items you like. Remember, the freshest and most nutrient dense foods will be in-season and locally grown.
To get you started, choose and ingredient from each category below and experiment with different dressings and sauces.
Plant proteins: beans, lentils, split peas, nuts, mung bean sprouts, seeds, tofu, tempeh
Grains & Starchy Vegetables: amaranth, faro, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, rice, winter squash, sweet potato, potato, whole grain and rice pasta
Greens: sprouts, micro-greens, arugula, lettuce variety, cabbage, kale, bok choy, chard, collards, spinach, watercress
Non-starchy Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, fennel, jicama, mushrooms, onions, radish, snow peas, snap peas
Non-sweet fruits: avocado, bell pepper, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini
Fresh Herbs, Spices, Toppings: basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, mint, chives, garlic, ginger, ground flax, nutritional yeast, toasted nuts & seeds, spice blends
Condiments & Dressings: chutney, pesto, pickles, raw kraut, salsa, tapenade, creamy or vinegar based dressing, Braggs aminos, citrus, hot sauce, tamari, balsamic vinegar, tahini dressing
To prepare each ingredient, you decide how simple or involved you want to get. For example, the protein can be as easy as opening a can of cooked garbanzo beans or as involved as boiling, marinating and pan sauteing tempeh. Greens can be raw, shredded, sauteed or even roasted or grilled. Vegetables and non-sweet fruits can also be raw, shredded or spiraled or cooked by steaming, roasting, sauteing or grilling. Adding herbs and toppings bring a bright freshness and pop of flavor to the dish. The condiments and dressings will pull the flavors together for a deliciously composed meal.
Finally, I’ll share one of my favorite Wellness Bowl combinations. First, I place a cup of arugula in the bottom of a bowl and add a scoop of quinoa that is cooked in coconut milk in the middle. Then around the quinoa, I place scoops of sliced crimini mushrooms that I marinate in coconut aminos, sprouted mung beans or lentils and steamed broccoli and bok choy. I top it off with cilantro and mango chutney. Yum!
Try your own combination and let me know how you like it!